Preparing perfect poinsettias
Red, white available at local nursery, but also blue, orange, polka dot
Jeannette Putt and her husband, Wayne Putt, check the furnace for their greenhouses regularly this time of year, at the Rise and Shine Nursery in Goulds.
After all, the holiday bestsellers — tropical plants — need to stay warm.
She estimates about 30,000 poinsettia plugs were put into soil at the nursery at the end of July. And even with a 10-inch planter taking several in a single container, it represents many thousands of potted adult plants the wholesaler will ultimately provide to local retailers, and sell through an on-site shop.
Christmas roses and the nursery’s own “Grinch trees” are doing well, but there’s no denying the poinsettias remain in greatest demand as both a holiday decoration and, for some, a household tradition.
Care for the plants, to see them last well past Old Christmas Day, is pretty straightforward, Putt said, but the nursery staff still issue one tip to anyone buying.
“They don’t realize that they can’t leave them in their car. Because people will pick them up and say oh, I’m just going to run to the Wal-Mart, or I’m just going to run to Bidgoods, just running in for whatever, but they can’t. They have to be taken home immediately. That’s why the delivery truck goes right to the doors,” she said. “They don’t like cold.”
The poinsettia plant is native to Mexico and Central America. It comes in many different varieties and the Putts grow them in their natural reds, whites, and pinks. However, the nursery also offers blue-coloured poinsettia plants, orange-coloured plants, even multi-coloured poinsettias they call “Celebration” or “New Years” poinsettias.
The unusual colours are achieved by hand-painting the plants with a florist colouring, in the nursery’s workshop.
Some of the more colourful plants were handed up into a delivery truck and sent on their way. “Everybody wants something different,” she said, adding she has set one aside for her family home.
During the holiday season, she said, the Putts will be working seven days a week.
“We’ll finish Christmas Eve and then we’ll take January off,” Jeannette Putt said, “but they usually start seeding again in February.”
And come July, it will be time to start getting ready for the next holiday season.
They have to be taken home immediately. That’s why the delivery truck goes right to the doors. They don’t like cold. Jeannette Putt
One of the greenhouses at the Rise and Shine Nursery in Goulds filled with poinsettias in the lead-up to the 2016 holiday season. Needless to say nurseries like this one speak poinsettia — a lot — at this time of year.
Randy English takes on some coloured poinsettias for delivery from Rise and Shine Nursery co-owner Jeannette Putt. The Goulds nursery is a wholesaler, providing poinsettias to local retail outlets, as well as selling them on site.
I’ll have a blue, blue, blue poinsettia.
Coloured poinsettias in the Rise and Shine workshop. The flowers are handpainted with a paint designed specifically to not kill the flower.
Jeannette Putt shows off a few of the remaining “Grinch” trees, a popular creation for the nursery this holiday season.